For the last three Septembers, this column has implemented the most statistically advanced sabermetrics available to assess the Dodgers' championship odds, in the form of their players' walk-up music.
One secret left out of Moneyball was that players with stellar theme music are more apt to have higher on-base percentages — both on and off the field.
It won't be an easy road in October. Just about every playoff team in the National League is a potential championship contender. But the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, arguably the two best pitchers to ever fill a clubhouse with bovine country music.
With the playoffs imminent, here's a guide to whether the Dodgers' musical preferences will lead to a parade or a funeral march.
Yasmani Grandal, catcher
Song: Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen”
What it reveals: It's no coincidence that Grandal's breakout season has dovetailed with the rise of New Jersey's finest mono-eyed crooner and amateur chemist. Nothing says inspiration like Fetty Wap.
Adrian Gonzalez, first base
Song: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, “El Mariachi Loco”
Reveals: He's had the same song for years, a consistency that lends itself to his steady offensive production. But it's still murky if “The Crazy Mariachi” can produce in the clutch.
Howie Kendrick, second base
Song: Outkast, “So Fresh, So Clean”
Reveals: You can always spot Kendrick as he peels out of the Dodger Stadium parking lot in a Monte Carlo, wearing a turquoise suit and alligator belt. Kendrick is the Big Boi of middle infielders, unflashy but quietly excellent.
Jimmy Rollins, shortstop
Song: E-40, “Choices (Yup)”
Reveals: Despite a torrid September for rookie Corey Seager that has many calling for him to replace Rollins, it's clear that anyone who chooses to play 40 Water before 40,000 people every night can be trusted to deliver when it counts.
Justin Turner, third base
Song: DJ Snake featuring Lil Jon, “Turn Down for What”
Reveals: Let's hope he doesn't get a late-season drug test.
Andre Ethier, left field
Song: Smashing Pumpkins, “Zero”
Reveals: He went from Tres Delinquentes to Billy Corgan. Catch Andre at Echoplex's next emo night — probably DJing.
Joc Pederson, center field
Song: Post Malone, “White Iverson”
Reveals: There's a lot to like about Joc Pederson. He's a stellar defensive outfielder, hits for power and leads the team in on-base percentage. But friends don't let friends Post Malone. If Don Mattingly doesn't have a sit-down with the kid, the Dodgers could wind up with as many rings as Allen Iverson.
Yasiel Puig, right field
Song: Kevin Gates, “I Don't Get Tired”
Reveals: Yasiel Puig is a municipal treasure. For a player conspicuously prone to second-half slumps (and currently out with an injury), Puig wisely realizes that the indefatigable Baton Rouge rapper is the only way to survive the rigors of a 162-game season.
Carl Crawford, outfield
Song: Chedda Da Connect, “Flicka Da Wrist”
Reveals: Crawford understands that a quick flick of the wrists can generate home-run power, as well as effective cooking. Carl Crawford is a G.
Clayton Kershaw, pitcher
Song: Blackstreet, “No Diggity”
Reveals: Last year, Kershaw used fun. and he folded in the playoffs. This year, he's recruited Teddy Riley, Dr. Dre and Queenpen to his corner. Bet on him.
An L.A. native, Jeff Weiss edits Passion of the Weiss and hosts the Shots Fired podcast. Find him online at passionweiss.com.
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